Merit Vs Domicile Reservation: Supreme Court Stays HC order upholding merit
Chandigarh: The Supreme Court, in its order passed recently, has stayed the Punjab and Haryana High Court judgment where the bench had ruled the domicile condition as "invalid" and directed PG Medical admissions on merit basis at Government Medical College and Hospital Sector 32, Chandigarh (GMC Sector 32).
Now, the PG Medical admissions would be done as per the GMCH prospectus.
On April 23, 2019, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had ruled the domicile condition for 32 PG medical seats at Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32 (GMCH 32); as "invalid" and "unsustainable to law." Aggrieved by the verdict, the UT (Union Territory) administration moved the Supreme Court against the order.
Medical Dialogues recently reported about the entire matter. The verdict came in view of the petition filed by PG medical aspirants seeking admission to the MD/MS courses who found the stipulated domicile clauses to be in breach of several pronouncements of the SC as it tended to subvert merit by granting benefit to few by giving them preference in the matter of admission by giving primacy to their place of residence.
Noting the issue, the HC had observed
"…the interpretation of institutional preference with its applicability of total number of seats which are 125 has resulted in a situation that reeks of arbitrariness and a resultant violation of Article 14 of the Constitution of India. We would thus hold the stand of the UT Chandigarh erroneous in this regard. While upholding the principal of institutional preference we would direct that it would relate to 50% of the seats available to the institution after 50% of All India Quota has been consumed and upon such calculation throw open the seats to other deserving aspirants."
While providing relief to PG medicos and disposing off the petition, the HC bench then concluded,
"…We, therefore, strike down clause 2 (a) (b) and (c) of UT, Chandigarh Pool as being invalid and unsustainable in law. All admissions made by placing reliance on the above would as a logical corollary be also unsustainable. The only course available to the college is to fill up the seats through merit position obtained by candidates in NEET examination…"
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In light of the above order, the PG medical counselling at GMC Sector 32 that was supposed to have taken place on 24/4/2019 was postponed till further orders.
There are a total of 128 PG medical seats at GMCH 32. Of which, 64 seats reserved under state quota are equally divided before this ruling, 32 were reserved under institutional preference pool for its own MBBS students and the rest 32 for those PG medical aspirants who are with Chandigarh background. The rest 64 PG medical seats are allotted in All India quota.
Read Also: PG Medical Counselling may get stuck at GMC Chandigarh as UT plans to challenge HC order in SC
Now, as mentioned in a recent report by TOI, the SC has stayed the said order.
UT senior standing counsel Pankaj Jain argued in the apex court hearing that the UT has only one medical college GMC 32. "By striking down UT pool, the HC order had reduced the 50% reservation to 25% (only institutional quota), which is against the basic essence of National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) that says 50% seats should be filled from all-India quota and 50% from the state. With this judgment of the HC, the residents of Chandigarh were feeling discriminated against," Jain said.
After the arguments, the Supreme Court stayed the HC judgment and now, the admissions would be done as per the GMCH prospectus, reports TOI.